Local News

Smith River Complex Firefighting Focus Starting to Shift Away from the Illinois Valley
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Crews battling the Smith River Complex have established a camp in Brookings-Harbor to minimize drive times and safety risks. Firefighters and equipment were moved into that area over the weekend. The Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team reported this morning that the Smith River Complex had grown to 86,748 acres and containment had increased to 21%. There was no growth over the weekend in southwest Oregon and total personnel assigned to the complex today was 1,773. While there is no forecasted threat from a Chetco wind event, managers understand community concerns and catastrophic consequences of past wildfires in the Curry County area. Work on a secondary control line along Forest Road 1106 has begun. Warm and dry conditions contributed to successful burning operations to reduce fuel on the north end of the fire bordering the Illinois Valley. Most of the fire activity there remains minimal as crews search for and extinguish pockets of heat. As a result of increased safety on the north end of the complex, the Josephine County Sheriff's Office on Monday reduced all evacuation notices in the Illinois Valley to Level 1 "Be Ready."
Posted on 9/12/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
 

RR-Siskiyou Forest Updates Emergency Area and Road Closure Due to the Anvil Fire
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Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Acting Supervisor Jake Winn has signed an update to the Emergency Area and Road Closure for the Anvil Fire. Winn said the closure order runs through October 31st unless rescinded sooner. The area closure boundary is described as "the entirety of the Grassy Knob Wilderness." It now includes the addition of Forest Service Road 5325 -- also known as Elk River Road -- from the Forest boundary to the 5201 road. While the Flat Fire is holding at 34,242 acres and containment has increased to 75%, the Anvil Fire has grown to 587 acres with 0% containment. This morning, there were 281 personnel assigned to the Flat Fire and 310 assigned to the Anvil. On Sunday, helicopters dropped 149,450 gallons of water on the Anvil Fire. Wildland Fire Module (WFM) crew members are helping direct helicopter bucket drops while collecting weather and fuels information. They're also scouting for alternate lines on the north and south sides of the wilderness boundary. On the north, a location for a containment lines has been identified that will start slightly southeast of China Peak and extend northwest onto tribal and BLM land.
Posted on 9/12/23 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
 

Art Along the Rogue Festival Gets Financial Boost from Charitable Foundation Grant
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Organizers for the Art Along the Rogue Festival in Grants Pass recently received a financial boost from a charitable organization in the northern Willamette Valley. The Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation based in Wilsonville awarded the City of Grants Pass a $4,700 grant in support of the 20th anniversary of the event. The grant funds will pay for a 3-D chalk artist to create a large interactive art piece and to help expand the children's art programming through a booth where kids can learn from the artist. Art Along the Rogue is set for a three-day run from Friday, October 6th, through Sunday, October 8th, in downtown Grants Pass. Professional and amateur chalk artists will turn the area around 5th and H streets into masterpieces. Since its beginnings in 2003, Art Along the Rogue has grown into one of the city's premier community events. It is one of the leading street chalk and music festivals in the state, attracting thousands of visitors to Grants Pass each fall. The theme for this year's 20th annual event is "Blockbusters on the Block" and it will include artwork featuring movie nostalgia.
Posted on 9/12/23 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
 

California Man Died after Being Hit by Truck on Highway 62 in Jackson County
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A California man was killed this week when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing Highway 62 in Jackson County. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the vehicle versus pedestrian crash near milepost 7 of Highway 62 late Wednesday night. Troopers said the preliminary investigation indicated 48-year-old Joshua Branca of Manhattan Beach, California, entered the eastbound travel lane on foot and was hit by a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup driven by 63-year-old Ronald Miller of Eagle Point. According to OSP, Branca was pronounced deceased at the scene by medics while Miller was not injured. Highway 62 was impacted for approximately three hours during the on-scene investigation. The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation. OSP was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Eagle Point Police Department, Jackson County Fire District 3, Mercy Flights and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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JMET Dismantled another Illegal Marijuana Growing Site in the Illinois Valley
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) raided another illegal cannabis growing operation in the Illinois Valley this week. With assistance from Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety, JMET served a search warrant in the 5,000-block of Rockydale Road on Thursday. During execution of the warrant, more than 2,400 marijuana starter plants were seized and destroyed. The site also had multiple electrical and water code violations that could result in criminal forfeiture of the property. According to JMET, the primary suspect was not at the location during the raid. If located, they will be charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana and Unlawful Appropriation of Water. Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no further details about the case are being released at this time.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Motorist for Trying to Elude Troopers & Reckless Driving on I-5
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for attempting to elude troopers while driving recklessly on Interstate 5 in Jackson and Josephine counties this week. OSP reports state troopers received multiple complaints of a reckless driver on the freeway late Thursday afternoon. Prior to entering Josephine County, the suspect crashed into a vehicle in Jackson County and continued driving north. Troopers located the Dodge Ram pickup driven by 61-year-old Rex Alden Lane still driving recklessly in the northbound lanes of I-5 in north Grants Pass. They attempted to stop Lane, but he refused to yield and led a law enforcement pursuit all the way to Sunny Valley where he was pinned in by troopers at the off-ramp. According to OSP, the Josephine County Sheriff's Office assisted with the pursuit and custody of the driver. Rex Lane was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempt to Elude Police and Reckless Driving. A charge of Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage was referred to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for consideration.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
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Wolf Creek Man Collared on Local Warrants after Riding ATV on Public Road
A Wolf Creek man was arrested on two outstanding warrants this week after the Oregon State Police caught him riding an all-terrain vehicle on a public roadway. OSP reports troopers tried to stop 46-year-old Jared Marius Anderson near the corner of Bloom Road and Coyote Creek Road on Thursday around 9:30 p.m.. Troopers said Anderson jumped off the ATV and fled on foot, but he was found a short time later attempting to hide in the brush. They said it was then discovered that he was wanted on two local warrants for failing to appear in court for several crimes. Jared Anderson was placed into custody, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:24AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Wolf Creek Woman for DUII after Interstate 5 Stop near Merlin
The Oregon State Police arrested a Wolf Creek woman for impaired driving this week during a traffic stop on Interstate 5 near the Merlin Interchange. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Dodge Dakota pickup driven by 55-year-old Michelle Renee Attenhoffer in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 61 on Thursday afternoon. Troopers said they stopped Attenhoffer for multiple moving violations and she displayed indicators of impairment, so an investigation was performed. They said she performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she provided a positive breath sample. Michelle Attenhoffer was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. She was cited to appear in court and then released at the Sobering Center.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:23AM by Sam Marsh
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Multiple Agencies Extinguished Vegetation Fire on Indian Creek Road in IV
Multiple agencies extinguished a vegetation fire in the Illinois Valley last night. On Friday at 6:05 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry, US Forest Service and Rural Metro Fire Department responded to what was first reported to be a possible structure fire at the end of Indian Creek Road. IVFD Chief John Holmes said arriving units found a 3.9-acre vegetation fire. He said a bulldozer was staged at Draper Valley Road. Due to an aggressive initial attack that included several helicopter water drops, the fire was completely contained and mop-up was underway by 10 p.m.. The incident was monitored by firefighters overnight. Chief Holmes said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Schroeder Lane Storm Drain Project Set to Resume Monday for Two Months
The City of Grants Pass has announced that the Schroeder Lane Storm Drain Project is scheduled to resume next week and it will last around two months. On Monday, CPI will begin installing storm drain pipe and manholes from Leonard Road to Schroeder Park. The estimated completion time is mid-November, depending on the weather. Traffic will be down to one lane during construction hours, so motorists are encouraged to watch for changing road conditions and expect delays of up to 20 minutes. Every effort will be made by the contractor to minimize disruptions and ensure driveway access to residents is available. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and take alternate routes. Emergency vehicles will be allowed through. For more information on this construction project, call CPI at (541)-862-2390.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
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Smith River Complex Crews Successful with Strategic Burning Operations on Wildfire
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Firefighters on the Smith River Complex initiated strategic burning operations on the north end of the fire near Forest Road 019. The operation was successful, aided by favorable weather conditions and low-intensity fire behavior. The Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team reported this morning that the Smith River Complex was holding at 85,700 acres and containment was still 19%. More than 10,200 acres of the two-state wildfire complex is burning in Oregon. Total personnel assigned to the complex today is 2,091. On the northwest side of the wildfire, crews continue to work on preliminary steps for a potential contingency line near Forest Road 1107, scouting for a helispot, removing brush along the road and using heavy equipment. Firefighters will continue to evaluate opportunities to implement additional strategic burning operations over the next several days when weather conditions are expected to include warm temperatures and light winds. US Highway 199 is open to all traffic, but hazards from fire damage remain along the roadway. One-lane pilot car traffic may cause delays of 20 to 60 minutes. The Oregon Department of Transportation is set to resume its paving project on the Redwood Highway from Cave Junction south to the California border on Sunday, so watch for lane closures especially at night.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:07AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass-Based Dutch Bros will Sell $300 Million in Stock to Pay Down Current Debt
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Oregon drive-thru chain Dutch Bros said this week that it will issue another $300 million in stock and use most of the proceeds to pay down debt. The Oregonian reports news of the offering sent Dutch Bros shares down 5% in after-hours trading as investors anticipated the dilution of their current holdings. It's been two years since Dutch Bros debuted on Wall Street with the largest public offering in Oregon history, raising $550 million. The company used $200 million of that to repay past borrowing. The company, based in Grants Pass, said it expects to raise $286 million through the new offering after subtracting expenses. Dutch Bros said it will use $203 million of that to pay down $300 million in borrowing under a credit line and apply the rest to general corporate purposes. Dutch Bros had 754 shops in 14 western and southwestern states at the end of June, including 155 in Oregon. But the company has been expanding rapidly in Texas, where it has 131 shops, and plans to open shops soon in the southeast US. The chain aspires to have 4,000 stores nationwide within next 15 years.
Posted on 9/9/23 6:05AM by Sam Marsh
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